Man on bicycle chased by police rides into sea, found dead

A man riding a bicycle and chased by a police patrol car ran off the pier in Naha Port early Tuesday morning. He was found unconscious and taken to a hospital where he died one and half hour later.

According to police, a patrol saw the 39-year-old man whom police has not identified come out from a restaurant parking lot with a bicycle “laden high.” Officers thought they were seeing a probable theft in progress and told the man to stop, but he took off on his bike.

During the ensuing chase, the patrol lost the man once, but another patrol at Naha Port area saw and tried to stop him. However, he ran off the pier into the ocean. Police threw him a life line but the man did not try to catch it and sank.

A rescue team found him 5 to 6-metere-deep on the bottom about one meter from the pier and he was taken to the hospital. Police also found a bicycle and an microwave oven tied to it at the same spot.

Okinawa Prefectural Police are investigating the reason the man ran away, but they think, “It was appropriate to chase him.”